762A.0221/2–2251: Telegram

The United States High Commissioner for Germany (McCloy) to the Secretary of State 1

secret   priority

1071. For Byroade to decide distribution. AGSec from Slater. Council in executive session held Berlin 22 February considered following documents prepared by special committee:

(a) List of problems which might be studied in relation to political decisions of Brussels conference.

(b) Aide-mémoire covering list to be handed informally to Federal Republic and draft declaration of intention requested by Adenauer.

a. List of some of the problems to be studied.

Council approved this list with deletion of subject “waiver of claims by Germany” which both Kirkpatrick and I believed should be retained but finally agreed to delete in view of adament position taken by Poncet. We also agreed to change title to indicate that this list should neither be considered as all inclusive nor as binding in any way. It was agreed to transmit informally list as soon as possible to Federal Republic in order that they may appreciate scope of problems involved in adjusting HICOM-Federal Republic relationship and in order that they would be in position to set up organization to study such problems. (Copies revised list being air pouched Department ISG.2)

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b. Aide-mémoire to accompany list of problems and HICOM declation of intention.

As result of lengthy discussion, Council agreed that for present time HICOM would not make public any declaration of intention as requested by Adenauer, but rather would include thoughts which might be contained in such a declaration in an aide-mémoire which would be handed to Federal Republic at time of transmitting list of problems referred to above. HICOM special committee will meet with three High Commissioners in Berlin tomorrow to finalize text of aide-mémoire. (Final text will be air pouched Department.3)

As basis for its discussion, Council used following draft statements of intention submitted by special committee:

US and French proposal—“conclusion of arrangements for German contribution to western defense will create new situation, as natural consequence of which Allies will wish to adjust relationship between themselves and Federal Republic. They are ready to proceed thereto by contractual arrangements which will be binding on both parties and should cover all aspects of those relations except such problems as must be reserved for peace settlement. Preliminary studies to this end are underway”.

UK proposal—“As further step in adjusting relationship between themselves and Federal Republic, occupying powers are ready to replace their remaining reserved powers by contractual arrangements binding on both parties, subject only to obligation of allies to safeguard certain questions which can only be dealt with in eventual peace settlement.

“Some of these contractual arrangements might enter into force at early date. But others would only come into force when agreement had been [apparent omission] regard to German contribution to western defense.”

In reaching its decision, to withdraw declaration of intention and to hold up publication of such a declaration until a more opportune time when it would probably have greater effect (e.g. after some such event as possible failure of proposed four-power meeting), following points were made:

Kirkpatrick stated that in New York it was agreed that there should continue to take place a political evolution involving transfer of HICOM functions and powers to Federal Republic. Therefore, HICOM’s could not now state that any further change in its powers and functions would have to await actual German participation in Western Defense. In his opinion, certain contracts transferring specific HICOM powers to Federal Republic might come in advance of German participation in western defense, Kirkpatrick stressed however that HICOM could not abandon its basic powers before German military contribution had been made and that in discussions with Adenauer, latter had reluctantly admitted that he could not expect complete abandonment at this time by Allies of their controls in Germany. At [Page 1466] same time, Kirkpatrick was anxious not to tell Federal Republic that allies would not permit any relaxation of controls to enter into effect until German military contribution was forthcoming, as this would be interpreted as a form of blackmail. In this connection, he proposed, in view of present stalemate in ISG, re revision of PLI, that certain modifications could be made at once as manifestation of HICOM’s willingness to continue its program of gradual relaxation of Allied controls in Germany. He stated that he has recommended to London that agreement be given at once by ISG.
For construction of approximately 16 special ships, orders for which are now outstanding, (b) that restrictions with respect to production of chlorine should be lifted, (c) that restrictions be lifted with respect to Fischer–Tropsch process and production of buna rubber.
Finally, Kirkpatrick urged that declaration of intention be held up as it would neither help Adenauer in getting through a wehrgesetz (which was the original purpose of a declaration) nor would it receive much publicity at all at this time. In any event, HICOM should keep this “plum” for release at time when it might have a greater effect.
Poncet, in opposing entry into force of any contractual arrangements before German contribution to Western defense, stated that some type of general security pact might be only way to bind Germany to the West. If FedRep took everything from HICOM without unqualified alignment with West in form of a treaty, Germans might, having received these benefits, state their neutrality or even desire to align themselves with the East. In this connection, he pointed out that Adenauer’s present political situation was so insecure that Allies could not be sure who would be chancellor in 6 months time. Poncet agreed that although discussions and studies on contractual arrangements with Federal Republic should proceed he favored keeping declaration of inflation [intention] on ice.
Although I agreed we had to move forward in our program of evolution toward greater relaxation of Allied controls in Germany [I stated?] that conclusion of contractual arrangements with FedRep should only arise out of the new situation which would be created by German participation in Western defense. Furthermore, I informed them that I had already pointed out to Adenauer that HICOM would not abandon its powers only to find that Federal Republic was taking a neutral position, and that although we would not hand them an ultimatum, Allies must retain our fundamental powers until the situation had been much further advanced. I expressed concern re crisis over Schuman plan and apparent French desire not to give way on any front pending settlement of this and other issues. I warned that any retrogression must be avoided, particularly if it led to any great western allied controversy with Federal Republic which would weaken western position in proposed four-power conference.

Finally, I went on record as stating that there had been no change in US policy toward Germany since Brussels and stressed that US had never desired to force conscription on Germans.

[ Slater .]
  1. Repeated to Frankfurt, Paris, London, and Bonn.
  2. No copy of the revised list has been found in Department of State files; however, a copy of such a list, transmitted on February 10, indicated the following categories of topics to be studied:

    • “I. Determination of questions which can only be settled in the peace treaty.
    • II. Security questions in relation to Germany’s Military and Economic Contribution to the Western European Defense System.
    • III. Security and Material Support of the Allied Forces.
    • IV. Questions concerning policies of the Occupying Powers in relation to German internal affairs.
    • V. Questions concerning foreign affairs or involving international agreements or foreign interests.
    • VI. Questions affecting Berlin.” Enclosure 1 to despatch 2609 from Frankfurt, not printed (762A.0221/2–1051).

    A copy of the revised list, embodying 39 points for discussion with the Germans, was presented to representatives of the Federal Republic on February 27.

  3. No record of the text of the aide-mémoire tinder reference has been found in Department of State files.